In our garden, at least, the Tulips in their season are star performers, adding a zingy drama to the area in front of the house.

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When they are done, things are quieter for a while. Here’s the Driveway Border, post-Tulip. (Public Service Announcement: do NOT cut back or braid the foliage of Tulips and other bulbs, let them go gently into that good earth).

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It’s as if the dramatic stars withdraw from the stage to be replaced by a large but soft-spoken chorus. Here’s the street side of the Parkway Bed.

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The newly emerged chorus includes many Wild Geraniums (Geranium maculatum), in lavender …

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… and white.

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Also in the choir are patches of Golden Alexander (Zizia aurea).

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And scattered around are some ‘Pheasant’s Eye’ Narcissus, the last of our Daffodils to show themselves.

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I wouldn’t say this period is entirely without drama. There is this patch of ‘Globemaster’ Allium in the Parkway Bed. Only thing is that these flowers are supposed to be up to 10″ wide, which would be dramatic indeed. But because I never bothered to separate the bulbs as they multiplied, these flowers are just a fraction of that size. But there are a lot of them.

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Here’s looking at ‘Globemaster’ from the street.

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Up by the house, the Ostrich Ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris) continue to consolidate into a feathery wall of green, speckled with bits of pink Bleeding Heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis).

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The Bleeding Heart are blooming rather sparsely this year, for some reason.

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There’s also a patch of ‘Purple Sensation’ Allium in the Crabapple Bed, underplanted with Starry Solomon’s Plume (Maianthemum stellatum) and White Wild Geranium. I’ll have more to say about this year’s Alliums in a future post.

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The first Clematis, ‘Guernsey Cream’, is blooming in the Herbs and Cutting Bed.

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There is still one zippy bloom right now: Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis). For some reason, most of our Columbines have disappeared over the last couple years. I just planted a few to see if I can get them to reestablish.

It will take a few weeks before the summer blooms turn up the garden’s drama quotient once again.

46 Comments on “The Calm After the Tulips”

  1. It is beautiful, and calming. I do like the splashiness of that red columbine, though, and I like the effect of more, smaller Globemaster alliums. The leaves on the geraniums look like those on our native geranium, but both the flowers and leaves are much smaller: the flowers of Geranium carolinianum are only about 1/3″ wide. I must say, those ferns are looking quite impressive, too.

  2. Beautiful, Jason. I like this time before the summer blockbusters… Many similar blooms here currently, from alliums to aquilegia to ‘Guernsey Cream’. I’ve learned bleeding heart here are very short-lived so will need to add more if I want to see any!

  3. Hello your borders are looking beautiful with the more subdued (refined?) colour palette. For the alliums, I think I prefer the smaller but more alliums than the larger but fewer, I think it works better. As usual, I’m envious of the healthy Guernsey Cream clematis. I’ve discovered I have a thing for bars down the centre of petals.

  4. Your garden always looks so good with something blooming. I love alliums. I had a rogue white one turn up in the garden this year. I wonder where that came from?? I rather like surprises though especially when they are that pretty. I didn’t know there was a native white geranium.

  5. Last fall, I planted a couple of those Globemaster alliums in front of my newly planted ostrich ferns. It should look good by next year (I hope), but this year, the fern leaves a lot to be desired. Can’t wait ’til it looks like yours!

  6. Love the alliums – and have my first ones in the garden this year – very exciting! My tulips are basically done as well & the alliums are the star of the west border – I only planted one packet (they are expensive buggers!) so I’m hoping they multiply.

  7. Very nice display of Allium. Definitely more vigorous than mine, but I’m happy with what I get since spending little to no time or effort on them. That white clematis looks wonderful against the black stand: great contrast.

  8. All of my columbine faded away, too. I believe someone told me they are short-lived. Alas. I really like the mass of alliums. Surely a lovely mass of them is better than isolated, large blooms?

    Your neighbors are so lucky!! Do you have problems with people letting their dogs relieve themselves in your gardens? There are A LOT of dogs in my “hood, and the owners seem to pride themselves in not restraining them in any way. It is so bad I’ve debated about ripping the garden out and putting gravel out there so I don’t have to weed in dog waste. I’ve also fantasized about finding a way to thwart the little buggers….rose stems with thorns, perhaps. Or putting a camera out there, so I know whose poop it is. So I can return it to them. 😀

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